Billie Sol Estes Dead at 88

Story here. I used to know Billie Sol’s nephew in Texas. We drove down to El Paso once in 1980 to visit Billie Sol when he was being held in a minimum-security prison outside the city at the time, so I met him. Nice guy to talk to, I remember. Was up front about having been caught fair and square and cautioned not to do as he did. Then later I heard he seemed to be getting mixed up in new “deals.”

RIP, Billie Sol. You were quite a character.

So having met the guy, did you get the sense that he believed what he said about the JFK assassination, or was it just self-promotion?

He didn’t say anything about that to me. His nephew, who seemed pretty close to him, believed anything Billie Sol said was 100% self-promotion.

He didn’t need to say anything to you directly; I was asking what your opinion was given your general impression of him.

The nephew’s word seems to be directive here, though.

He just seemed like a nice old guy, definitely the uncle type and close to the same age I am now. It was minimum security, so he sat at a table with us. It wasn’t through a wire or glass or anything like that. A very relaxed setting. I’d be surprised if any of the Kennedy stuff he said turned out somehow to be true.

His glasses are back in style.

I used to get beat up for wearing glasses like that. :frowning:

I followed the link within the link to the part of the local competing newspaper bringing the fraud to light. That was pretty interesting – the paper was being crushed by Billy Sol’s own paper, which he started when the existing paper refused to back him for local office. And then it turned around and bit him on the ass.

That was because of that piece of white adhesive tape you had across the bridge. I remember you.

I’m sure that the pocket protectors didn’t help, either.

Billy Sol Estes
That boy really cooks
Hey Billy, Billy
Hey Billy, Billy, Billy
He had one shining purpose
And two sets of books…

Oh, what have you done,
Billie Sol, Billie Sol,
Oh, what have you done,
Charming Billie?
You took almost every cent
From the U.S. Government,
Which you spent on fertilizer,
Which is silly.

– Allan Sherman

My father represented Billie Sol on a criminal charge that he ultimately got dismissed after some extensive investigation. Billie Sol referred to my dad as “the only trial lawyer to ever spring me.” Quite a character indeed.

I seem to recall in the early days of CNN – maybe not CNN itself but a related Turner Network channel? – there was a hokey comedy set in the fictional Billie Sol Estes High School in Atlanta.

I would have expected that he would have died a long time ago, since his big notoriety was during the LBJ era in the 1960s

He’s one of the few people to have songs written specifically about him. I like this one.

Yeah, they were dangerous times. The dinosaurs got most everyone.